By KAITLYN NAPLES
A little over three weeks ago, one St. Paul Catholic High School senior found out his dream of attending West Point military academy had just come true. Nick Iacovelli has been waiting for about two years to hear if he would be attending West Point in the fall, and had gone through an extensive process of getting where he is now.
“It felt more like a dream than a goal at first,” Iacovelli said.
In addition to the hard work he has put in over the last two years, Iacovelli said he credits this accomplishment to his education at St. Paul and the help of his guidance counselor, teachers, field representative, and parents, as well. He was nominated by U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut), who is given the privilege of nominating 10 students in his district. From there, West Point chooses one. He was accepted on the congressional nomination, however Iacovelli was also nominated by former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman.
“We’re very proud of Nick’s recent appointment to the academy,” St. Paul High School President CaryDupont said in an email. “This has been a reach dream of his and we’re thrilled for him and his family that he has earned the honor and privilege to fulfill that dream by serving his country.”
One of Iacovelli’s favorite parts about the entry process was attending West Point’s Summer Leadership Seminar last year, where he said he “felt like somewhere I’d fit in.”
At the summer program, Iacovelli said he was treated like a cadet and had an amazing experience, and was “the most fun I’ve ever had.” He also participated in the Connecticut American Legion Boys State program, where he learned how to run a state government.
Iacovelli, a Bristol resident, reports for duty on July 1, and will go through a basic training session this summer before his first year begins in the fall.
“I am very excited; this is something I’ve wanted for a very long time,” Iacovelli said, adding that he has always wanted to be an officer in the military.
Since he was just 3-years-old, Iacovelli said he has always been a history enthusiast. He said he used to hear stories from his grandfather, and as he got olde, her would do research on different events in history and past wars. He said he was always amazed by the stories he read and heard about generals and colonels and always wanted to be in that role.
“I always thought it would be great if I could be someone with character and leadership like that and really make a difference,” he said, which is another reason he wants to serve in the military. He said when he is an officer, he will be making decisions that could potentially have an impact on hundreds and thousands of people, or even an entire country.
He said he wanted to go to West Point because he “wanted to be immersed in the military lifestyle and tradition” and learn how to be an officer. At West Point, the cadets are in the military mind-set 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and that appealed to Iacovelli because he said when he is an officer, he will be “24/7.”
During the school year, he will focus on academics, like at a normal college. During the summer, Iacovelli will attend different kinds of military trainings to prepare for his future in the Army.
From now until July 1, Iacovelli said he is studying as much as he can and learning as much as possible before he gets to West Point. When he graduates from West Point, he will be automatically active in the military, and he said he wants to go into the infantry branch of the Army. He said he is a little nervous about the academics, but he said he knows he has worked too hard to get where he is now, to give up.
Iacovelli’s advice for anyone ever interested in applying to West Point—start the process early.
Iacovelli will graduate from St. Paul Catholic High School with the rest of his senior peers, on Friday, June 7.
By KAITLYN NAPLES